I’m normally skeptical of claims of political genius on behalf of opposition politicians who win elections amidst sharp economic downturns. That’s just what tends to happen. But Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell seems to have not only snagged the booby trap SOTU response gig, he’s even tried to think of a way to make it not suck:
When the national spotlight turns to Gov. Bob McDonnell tonight as he delivers the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, he’ll be surrounded by 300 people in the chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates. McDonnell plans to stand in the well of the House accompanied by family, supporters, administration officials, activists and lawmakers, some of whom will stand on risers set up for the live speech.
That’s a good idea!
At any rate, a conservative state-level politician in Virginia talking about national politics more-or-less has to engage in massive hypocrisy. The economic engine of Virginia is the DC suburbs, with their prosperity driven by the federal government leviathan that directly and indirectly employs so many Virginians. And yet you can’t very well do a Republican SOTU response without sneering at the idea that big government could ever possible bring about prosperity or improve anyone’s lives. Naturally, even more predictable than the hypocrisy is the fact that none of the TV pundits on after his speech will note it.